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October 08, 2007


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Jesus, I have all sort of issues with the things you've said here but I am really pleased you wrote this and think it's an excellent post.

That said, absolutely everyone you are quoting as well as you yourself and the majority of labels, artists and promo chappies seem to be making one fundamental mistake when discussing mp3 blogs: they are not an entity they are an ecosystem.

I have heard people talk about what mp3 blogs 'are' and what 'they do' an awful lot and a lot of it, as with much of your stuff here, makes plenty of sense. Nevertheless it neglects the fact that there are as many mp3 blogs as there are bloggers - all individual and all doing their own thing.

As with any group of people, there are the desperate climbers scrabbling to be as cutting edge and cool and hip as they possibly can, but that's just human nature.

I have also seen a few of the 'original' bloggers recently whining about what blogging has become, how it's lost its integrity, how people are just obsessed with hits, links and stats now and I just think that's rubbish.

Some pioneers created a niche, a niche which is now well-established, and then, once it was created, a bunch of followers jumped in after them, hungry for the little bit of influence and kudos that seemed to be available in this niche.

This happens with any, absolutely any, art form or product. All of them. It is no good complaining because it has happened to yours.

There are an awful lot, and this doesn't get mentioned too often, of followers with really rather pure motives. I know many mp3 blogs less than a year old that are written with passion and commitment, written sincerely and personally, and not about generating traffic. They are about music.

So the rabid hit-merchants may be the most visible, but then, Boyzone and The Spice Girls were some of the most visible music acts of their time too, and what integrity did they possess? And did their presense devalue the quality of the really good acts around at the same time? Did it bollocks - if anything it enhanced it.

Bloggers aren't the only ones to develop an inflated sense of their own importance either. Publicity people and even bands send out reams of promotional material with the misconception that getting 'the blogs' on board will mean that they either have made it or are infinitely more likely to make it.

But again, there is no 'the blogs'. There are just individual bloggers. If you tickle the fancy of one or two you are going to get nowhere, most of the time. But if you find yourself being covered by dozens then the chances are you might have something.

That said, does that represent the blogs 'discovering' your music or is it simply a reflection of the fact that people in general are latching onto your stuff? I, and I get the impression you would agree, would say the latter. I think blogs are reactive - I don't think they 'make bands' at all.

So everyone is guilty of this, if you ask me, not just bloggers. And actually, the vast majority of music blogs I read are as humble as it gets - downright tentative about their taste, in fact. It's just that the hit-whore blogs are the shrillest, but then again, that's part of the personality that makes them hit-whores in the first place.

Sorry if all that didn't make much sense, and thanks for writing this - it was a really enjoyable read.

Presense! What a fuckwit. I meant presence, obviously.

Matthew, thanks for this comment! You make a lot of great points, most of which I agree with although they didn't get represented in all my verbosity. (Guess that would have been part V...)

I said it somewhere else--at this point I can't recall if it was on my own blog or in the comments of someone else's--but I'm not "anti-" mp3 blogs; my post wasn't meant to hate, just to ask for some reflection on the part of some blogs. The best thing is that it did seem to generate a good deal of conversation here and elsewhere (not only spurred on by me but also by Rock Critics, Idolator, Marathonpacks, Freaky Trigger, and others).

You're right about those hype blogs being the most visible because that's exactly what they're after. The best thing about this back-and-forth that's been happening in the last week now is that a lot of bloggers who are less visible (to me, at least) are piping up. I've probably discovered a good five or six quality blogs in the last seven days, which is fantastic.

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